DML 1/72 Sd.Kfz.173 Early Jagdpanther Kit First Look
|Date of Review||December 2004||Manufacturer||DML|
|Subject||Sd.Kfz.173 Early Jagdpanther||Scale||1/72|
|Kit Number||7241||Primary Media||124 parts (110 in grey styrene, 6 etched brass, 4 black vinyl, 2 lengths of twisted wire, 2 screws)|
|Pros||New molds with some changes over early releases; petite zimmerit pattern appears to be highly acceptable in this scale||Cons||Directions somewhat compacted and do not show all options well|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$10.95|
DML has now gone into more detailed 1/72 kits, all of which are flagged as "Armor Pro." These are new molds, provided with detail parts normally not found in 1/72 or 1/76 kits such as etched brass and steel wire, and built to a higher level of detail than basic kits.
This is the second one that I have reviewed, and it is a much nicer piece than the first or basic version. It comes with a new styrene hull, whose molds were delicately etched with a "waffle" zimmerit pattern and which effectively represents a vehicle with that coating. All major components that would be zimmerited are done, however, modelers should note that in order to get the requisite level of detail the rear stowage bins (D2 and D3) are done in black vinyl. This means they will have to be attached to the hull rear (part E1) with ACC cement and not plastic cement. The reason DML did this is to get the "waffle" pattern to mold all the way around the circumference of the bins.
There are a lot of nice touches one finds with recent DML 1/35 scale kits included with this kit as well, such as the gun barrel muzzle being pre-bored for the modeler due to some clever designs of the molds. Wheels have bolt patterns inside and out, and the modeler has a large choice of tow cable options as well.
The directions let the model down somewhat, as they either do not cover what is going on or skimp over options. It's possible that they felt only skilled modelers would purchase this kit, and ergo know pretty much by instinct how to assemble one, but it may not have been that way. All major assemblies are shown pretty much fully assembled, and what the modeler misses is the fact that the crew hatches (C18), rear hatch (C14) and engine access hatch (C17) are separate parts that can be shown open or closed. Also, the skirt brackets (A14 and A15) are shown in place with only "stick here" directions, something which could be easy to overlook during assembly.
Two color schemes are included, a two-tone one for Pz,Abt. 654 in France, 1944, and a three-tone one for the same unit as 3d Company, s.Pz.Jg.Abt. 654,m also in France 1944. A full decal sheet with "number jungles" is included so you can do up more than one vehicle if building a diorama or war game force of these machines.
Overall, the "Armor Pro" kits are a nice idea and permit the modeler to really close on 1/35 scale kits for quality, something the "small scale" community has deserved for a long time.
Thanks to Freddie Leung of Dragon Models USA for the review sample.